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Lydia Lunch / No Wave

In conversation with Joseph Keckler

An image of Lydia Lunch, cast in shadow.
Photo by Jasmine Hirst. 

Thursday, March 24, 2022
5:30 pm


In-person Event

Michigan Theater
603 E Liberty St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104


Penny Stamps Speaker Series
Open to the public
Free of charge
Watch Video

Lydia Lunch is a writer, musician, photographer, controversial spoken word artist, and one of the primary instigators of the No Wave” movement of the late 1970’s in New York City. Her work typically features provocative and confrontational noise music delivery (she was the lead guitarist and singer of Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, an influential No Wave band), and has maintained an anti-commercial ethic, operating independently of major labels and distributors. 

No Wave — which was informed by both The Surrealists and the Avant Jazz music of the 1960’s and included artists, musicians, filmmakers, and general trouble makers — was the offspring of Taxi Driver, Times Square, The Son of Sam, the blackout of 77, the dud of The Summer of Love, Charles Manson, the Vietnam War, Kent State and the Kennedy Assassinations.

According to Lunch, it was a mad collective of death defiant miscreants desperate to rebel against the apathetic complacency of a zombie nation dumbed down by sit-coms, disco, fast food, and professional wrestling. No Wave was angry, ugly, snotty, and loud. It used music and art as a battering ram and a form of psychic self-defense against naturally violent tendencies — the extreme reaction of a generation disappointed by everything the 1960’s had promised, but failed to deliver.“

In a mix of prose-performance and discussion with Joseph Keckler, this rebel-spirited presentation will explore the vibrant movement’ known as No Wave.

Joseph Keck­ler is a musician, writer and artist who zeroes in on moments from daily life to reveal strange, absurd, and heartbreaking voyages. He performs widely, having been featured by NPR’s Tiny Desk series, Lincoln Center, Centre Pompidou, among others. His writing has appeared in McSweeney’s, Vice and elsewhere, and in 2018 his first essay and story collection Dragon at the Edge of a Flat World was published by Turtle Point Press. In 2019 he premiered two full length works— the critically acclaimed Train With No Midnight with Beth Morrison Projects and an amalgamation of opera deaths, Let Me Die, with Opera Philadelphia— and toured the U.S. as the national support act for rock band Sleater-Kinney. His work has been supported by Creative Capital and he is a former U‑M Witt Artist. He is currently working on new films and recordings. 

Learn more about COVID-19 protocols for Penny Stamps Speaker Series events.

This event is presented in partnership with the 60th Ann Arbor Film Festival, March 22-March 27, 2022. Presenting Partners: Detroit Public Television. Media Partner: Michigan Radio


Content Notice

In accordance with the University of Michigan’s Standard Practice Guidelines on Freedom of Speech and Artistic Expression, the Penny Stamps Speaker Series does not censor our speakers or their content. The content provided is intended for adult audiences and does not reflect the views of the University of Michigan or Detroit Public Television.